Difference Between
versus

Colloquialism vs. Idiom: Know the Difference

Hifza Nasir
By Hifza Nasir & Dua Fatima || Published on April 30, 2024
Colloquialisms are informal words or expressions used in everyday speech, while idioms are phrases with meanings not deducible from the individual words.
Colloquialism vs. Idiom

Key Differences

Colloquialisms are informal terms or expressions that characterize everyday spoken language. Idioms, on the other hand, are phrases whose meanings cannot be understood from the literal interpretation of the words that comprise them.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Apr 30, 2024
Colloquialisms vary regionally and are often used in casual conversations, reflecting the social and cultural context of a specific area. Colloquial language might include slang, but it primarily consists of informal phrases and words accepted in general speech. Idioms express a particular sentiment or concept unique to a language and are used both in spoken and written language, transcending formal and informal contexts. The meaning of an idiom is established by usage and understanding within a linguistic community.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024
While colloquialisms serve to make speech more relatable and less formal, idioms enrich the language by adding figurative or symbolic meanings to expressions. For example, "gonna" (going to) is a colloquialism simplifying speech, whereas "kick the bucket" is an idiom with a meaning not predictable from its words.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024
The use of colloquialisms can indicate the speaker's geographical or social background, as they often include regional dialects or vernacular. Idioms, however, are widely recognized within a language and may not necessarily reveal specific regional characteristics.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024
Understanding the difference between colloquialisms and idioms is crucial for language learners, as it aids in grasping the nuances of a language. Knowing when to use colloquial language and idioms can significantly impact the clarity and appropriateness of communication, especially in diverse linguistic settings.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Apr 30, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Definition

Informal words or expressions used in everyday speech
Phrases with meanings not deducible from the individual words
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Apr 30, 2024

Context

Casual conversations, reflecting social and cultural contexts
Both spoken and written language, formal and informal contexts
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

Purpose

To make speech more relatable and less formal
To add figurative or symbolic meanings to expressions
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

Examples

"gonna" for "going to", "y'all" for "you all"
"Kick the bucket" for "to die", "Piece of cake" for "very easy"
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

Regional Variance

Often varies regionally and includes dialects
Widely recognized within a language, not necessarily regional
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Formality

Generally considered informal
Can be used in both formal and informal contexts
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Apr 30, 2024

Linguistic Complexity

Simplifies speech
Enriches language with figurative meaning
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

Colloquialism and Idiom Definitions

Colloquialism

Everyday language.
Wanna grab a bite? uses wanna as a colloquialism for want to.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 02, 2024

Idiom

Used across contexts.
Break the ice means to initiate conversation, suitable in formal and informal settings.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 02, 2024

Colloquialism

Reflects regional speech.
I'm fixin' to go is a Southern U.S. colloquialism meaning I'm preparing to go.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 02, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Idiom

Not deducible from words.
Piece of cake means very easy, unrelated to cake.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 02, 2024

Colloquialism

Used in casual settings.
He's outta here uses outta for out of in an informal context.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 02, 2024

Idiom

Expresses unique concepts.
Let the cat out of the bag for revealing a secret.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 02, 2024

Colloquialism

Simplifies expressions.
Gonna for going to makes speech more relatable.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 02, 2024

Idiom

Enhances linguistic richness.
Hit the nail on the head accurately describes making an exact point.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 02, 2024

Colloquialism

Indicates social background.
Y'all as a colloquialism for you all suggests a Southern U.S. origin.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 02, 2024

Idiom

A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Colloquialism

Colloquial style or quality.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Idiom

The specific grammatical, syntactic, and structural character of a given language.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Colloquialism

A colloquial expression.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Idiom

Regional speech or dialect.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Colloquialism

A colloquial word or phrase; a common spoken expression.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Idiom

A specialized vocabulary used by a group of people; jargon
Legal idiom.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Mar 01, 2024

Colloquialism

Colloquial style of speaking.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 01, 2024

Idiom

A style of artistic expression characteristic of a particular individual, school, period, or medium
The idiom of the French impressionists.
The punk rock idiom.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Colloquialism

A colloquial expression, not employed in formal discourse or writing.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Idiom

The style of a particular artist or school or movement;
An imaginative orchestral idiom
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 01, 2024

Colloquialism

A colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 01, 2024

Idiom

An expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 01, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Are colloquialisms accepted in formal writing?

Generally, colloquialisms are avoided in formal writing to maintain a professional tone.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

Can idioms be translated literally into other languages?

Idioms often lose their meaning when translated literally, making it important to understand their figurative sense in the original language.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Apr 30, 2024

Why is understanding regional colloquialisms important?

It aids in better communication and understanding of cultural nuances when interacting with speakers from different regions.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

Is it possible to use idioms incorrectly?

Yes, using an idiom incorrectly can lead to misunderstandings, as their meanings are not deducible from the literal words.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Apr 30, 2024

Why are idioms important in language?

Idioms add depth and richness to a language, allowing speakers to express ideas in a more vivid and culturally specific way.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

How do colloquialisms affect language learning?

They can both enrich the learning experience by providing cultural insights and pose challenges due to their informal and regional nature.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

How do colloquialisms and idioms reflect culture?

They encapsulate cultural references, humor, and values, offering insight into the social and cultural fabric of a community.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Apr 30, 2024

Can colloquialisms become idioms and vice versa?

While their functions differ, colloquial expressions can evolve into idioms if their usage becomes figurative over time.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Apr 30, 2024

How can I learn idioms effectively?

Exposure to the language in various contexts, such as literature, media, and conversation, helps in understanding and using idioms.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Apr 30, 2024

Do all languages have idioms and colloquialisms?

Yes, all languages have forms of idioms and colloquialisms, reflecting their unique cultural and social contexts.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Apr 30, 2024

Share this page

Link for your blog / website
HTML
Link to share via messenger
About Author
Hifza Nasir
Written by
Hifza Nasir
Dua Fatima
Co-written by
Dua Fatima

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

FPTP vs. PRFPTP vs. PR
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 16, 2024
FPTP (First Past the Post) is a simple plurality voting system where the candidate with most votes wins; PR (Proportional Representation) allocates seats based on the proportion of votes each party receives.
Japanese Eyes vs. Chinese EyesJapanese Eyes vs. Chinese Eyes
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Japanese Eyes and Chinese Eyes refer to linguistic structures in Japanese and Chinese respectively, each reflecting unique aspects of grammar and syntax.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
Pulley vs. SheavePulley vs. Sheave
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 4, 2024
A pulley is a wheel on an axle designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable, while a sheave is the wheel part of a pulley system that specifically interacts with the cable.
Extent vs. ScopeExtent vs. Scope
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Extent" refers to the degree or range something covers, while "Scope" relates to the breadth or range of coverage, influence, or effect.
Login vs. LogonLogin vs. Logon
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Login" and "Logon" are often used interchangeably to describe the process of gaining access to a computer system, but "login" can also refer to the credentials used for access.
Poem vs. PoetryPoem vs. Poetry
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A poem is a piece of writing that expresses ideas and emotions with a distinctive style and rhythm; poetry is the art form of writing such pieces.
Nuclear Family vs. Joint FamilyNuclear Family vs. Joint Family
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 9, 2024
Nuclear Family is a family unit consisting of parents and their children. Joint Family is a larger family structure comprising parents, children, and other relatives living together.
Poster vs. InfographicPoster vs. Infographic
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A Poster is a large printed image or notice for public display, while an Infographic is a visual representation of information or data.
NM3 vs. M3NM3 vs. M3
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 19, 2024
NM3 measures gas volume under Normal conditions (0°C and 1.01325 bar), while M3 measures volume under the conditions at which it is measured, without standard adjustment.
Vital Proteins Collagen vs. OrganikaVital Proteins Collagen vs. Organika
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 9, 2024
Vital Proteins Collagen is a brand offering collagen supplements for health and beauty, while Organika is a broader health and wellness brand with diverse products including collagen.
Data Roaming vs. Cellular DataData Roaming vs. Cellular Data
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Data Roaming allows usage of mobile network services outside of the home network area, while Cellular Data is using mobile services within the home network.
Slazenger Logo vs. Puma LogoSlazenger Logo vs. Puma Logo
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
The Slazenger logo features a panther, symbolizing agility and tradition, while the Puma logo depicts a leaping puma, representing speed and strength.
Catapult vs. TrebuchetCatapult vs. Trebuchet
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 4, 2024
A catapult is a ballistic device using tension or torsion to launch projectiles, while a trebuchet is a type of catapult using a counterweight for greater force and distance.
Pycharm Community vs. Pycharm ProPycharm Community vs. Pycharm Pro
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
PyCharm Community is a free, open-source IDE for Python development, while PyCharm Pro is a paid version with additional advanced features like web development support and database tools.
Fluid vs. LiquidFluid vs. Liquid
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 13, 2024
Fluids encompass all substances that flow (including gases and liquids), while liquids specifically refer to fluids with a definite volume but no fixed shape, adapting to their container.
Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Gorilla Glass 3 offers improved scratch resistance and durability compared to its predecessors, while Gorilla Glass 5 focuses on enhanced drop protection and toughness.
Explain vs. DefineExplain vs. Define
Dua FatimaDua Fatima
June 22, 2024
Explaining involves detailing or clarifying a concept, often including context and examples, whereas defining means stating the exact meaning of a word or phrase, typically in a concise manner.
5'11" vs. 6'0"5’11” vs. 6’0″
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
The difference between 5'11" and 6'0" is one inch, with 5'11" being 71 inches and 6'0" being 72 inches tall.
Traditional Trade vs. Modern TradeTraditional Trade vs. Modern Trade
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Traditional trade involves local, small-scale, often personalized commerce; modern trade is characterized by large-scale, technology-driven, and impersonal retail environments.
PPM vs. PPMVPPM vs. PPMV
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 10, 2024
PPM (parts per million) measures the concentration of one substance within a million parts of another. PPMV (parts per million by volume) expresses gas concentration as volume per million volumes of air.
Crane vs. HeronCrane vs. Heron
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
June 24, 2024
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds known for their elaborate dances, while herons are typically more solitary, stealth hunters with a distinctive S-shaped neck.
NDM vs. FTPNDM vs. FTP
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
NDM (Network Data Mover) automates and secures data transfers across networks, while FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol for transferring files between computers.
DDR3 vs. DDR3LDDR3 vs. DDR3L
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 29, 2024
DDR3 is a type of RAM with standard voltage (1.5V), while DDR3L is a low voltage variant (1.35V) compatible with both 1.5V and 1.35V slots.

Featured Comparisons

New Comparisons